Communion – Sunday Dec 26 at 10:00 am
Zoom – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7538449219
Welcome to a time of celebrating God’s presence in our midst.
Welcome to a time of remembering that the love of God amazes us.
Welcome to a time that is God’s gift to us.
If you are reading these words, you might be preparing to celebrate Communion at home, by yourself, or with your family or friends. Please remember that you need a small something to eat, and a bit to drink – what it is matters less that it is something that you have at hand, and can use to symbolize your own connection to God’s gift of love.
Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover.
And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.
When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends.
When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”
He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.
As you reflect on these words, perhaps you might think about what wisdom you have gained in your years – what experiences of God have you had? What wisdom would you share with others?
When you are ready to celebrate God’s love, the following prayer is the same one that we will use in the online ZOOM worship on Sunday morning at 10. We use common words to unite us as one community in many places.
written by Rev. Andrew O’Neil, St. Paul’s United Church, Riverview, NB.
© 2018 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ca. Any copy must include this notice.
God of all times and places, we gather at your table of grace to recall your vision of hope for all people and for your world.
Through Abraham and Sarah, you revealed your promise in the surprise of a child. Through your prophets, you called your people to make way for peace and justice. In Jesus, you revealed your way of forgiveness and love. Through the ever-circling year, your Word discloses to us—again and anew—your promise for the restoration of all creation.
As we gather to share this sign of hope and fulfillment, we remember Jesus, the child born into obscurity, amid fear and uncertainty. We remember the fragility of that revelation, as well as the hope he stirred and imagination he inspired.
We remember Jesus, the One who blazed a new and risky path of extravagant generosity and of passionate concern: temple-shaker, world-maker, rule-breaker, risk-taker; the author and finisher of our faith.
We remember Jesus’ self-giving love and the offer of himself for others, even those who gave him over to death.
On that night, in the midst of great confusion and fear, Jesus broke bread with friends, saying, “This is my body, which I give for you and for all. When you do this, remember me.”
With a blessing, he took the cup and offered it to them saying: “This cup is God’s covenant which is given for all. When you drink this, remember me.”
Come to us, life-giving Spirit of God. Bless us, these gifts, and what we do here, so that we might sing your song of love for your people and for your world.
God of All, we pray for your people.
For those who are afraid and oppressed, may you give courage. For those suffering conflict and fear, may you bring peace.
For those who long for food and water, may they be filled.
For those who long for justice, may it be fulfilled.
We pray also for ourselves and our community.
That those in hospital and in care feel your strength.
That those who are alone and anxious feel you near.
That those who are ill in body and in spirit be comforted. That our friends and family be blessed by healing and love.
We offer our prayers God and we join our voices in saying the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever, and ever,
BREAKING POURING SHARING
Prayer after Communion
God of shepherds and kings, you gather us by the light of the star of promise. You lead us not only to hope for the future,
but to trust in your presence and renewal of life in every time and place.
Guide us this night, by the light of that same star.
Lead us to the mangers of this world,
where uncertainty is met with the renewal life
and the transformation of this world is most deeply felt in love, one with another.
Be with us on this most wondrous of nights, we ask in Jesus’ name.
Although apart, we are one in God’s love, we are one in Christ’s transforming friendship, and we are one in the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
Be blessed and be a blessing.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – we are keeping you in our prayers,
Carol and Jeff